Monday, January 31, 2005

Pruning Fruit Trees and Roses and others

Native plants and wildlife gardens are my specialty, but I've been gardening for decades with non-natives as well as natives. I even cared for the formal rose garden at Knott's Berry Farm for a few years. Over the years I've pruned many fruit trees. At times I've done restorative pruning of roses, fruit trees and other plants compromised by improper pruning or many years of neglect. My advantages as a pruner include being tall with very long arms, good tools and skills and seasoned judgment.

I love to prune! One can make a significant difference quickly with skillful pruning. The growth response -- triggering greater beauty, abundant growth and fruitfulness -- is gratifying. Putting a neglected or hacked specimen back on the road to health and beauty with corrective pruning is particularly satisfying. There are good reasons for every skillful cut and I'm happy to serve as a mentor to clients who are interested.

I've studied the proper pruning of all sorts of plants, native or non-native, food plants, everything from ferns and grasses to shade trees.

In the wild, "pruning" is accomplished by such factors as animal grazing, browsing, trampling, gathering of nest building materials -- or fire. Aboriginal peoples everywhere thoughtfully participated in these processes also. Without pruning influences many plants fail to reach their potential beauty. Some native plants are short lived and don't achieve a normal conformation without pruning -- as I've said to many clients, in urban areas the gardener must "be the deer"!

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